Listen to what happened to me today. I'm loading my truck with stand up boards in an alley in Coronado. It's sunny, the surf's blown out but I'm in a good frame of mind. I'm having a lot of fun teaching paddle surfing lessons and the summer is so new that it feels endless. Best of all, the signals were a little mixed, but I may have been given the go ahead sign to order up a new board... Like I said, my little world was A-okay.
Then I hear this voice, "Some big boards you got there...".
I look over and here he comes- an older guy, probably in his sixties, sporting a red "Old Guys Rule" tee shirt. He's got those eighth grade glasses- the type that darken automatically when you go outside- the type that got you smacked up a little after school. And the bowling ball gut- the spherical hallmark of the has-been, the "surf check guy" who holds up the seawall and talks about how bitchin' it all used to be. Like I said, here he comes tottering down the alley, right up to me.
I'm kind of surprised. What did he just say? "No", I say, "these are stand up paddle boards." I'm not really understanding what's going on...
"They should be illegal- stand up paddle boarders hogging all the waves!" And with that he walks right by me and around the corner. That stupid, red, "Old Guys Rule" tee shirt etched into my mind.
What the? Who does that? It's hard to believe that there are actually people who feel the need to approach someone they don't even know and pop off. To me the irony is this; with that beach ball pinned to his gut the guy definitely couldn't paddle out, much less surf, anything other than a....drum roll please...... long board!
So here we have Mister Old Guys Rule all pissed off about us hogging waves when I can guarantee that the last time he paddled a board under nine feet, Nixon was flashing double peace signs on the way back to Yorba Linda. And when Herbie Fletcher started popping off that the "thrill is back" you can bet Mr. Globe Gut signed right up for a piece of side-slip boogie. All the better to snag set waves from outside of the pack, all the better to poach at will.
And now he's pissed at us- that my friends is what is known as FULL CIRCLE.